I'll never forget that day. Those screams of rage, the buzzing sounds of electricity, and the stuttering. The stuttering of his z's. If I meet someone with a stutter, I beg of them to never say a word with a "z" in it. I can never forget the sound of his stuttering z's.
About a year ago, in the neighborhood where my parents lived, there was this old, abandoned house. It hadn't been entered in years. People had tried to tear it down and reconstruct it, but they couldn't without my mother's permission. My mother bought the house years before she bore me, or married my father. She never set foot in it, though. People in the neighborhood begged her to get it torn down and rebuilt. They said it was an awful sight and shouldn't be seen in this lovely, suburban place.
My mother ignored them and did nothing to the house. She would always say, "If you want the house gone, you're gonna have to wait for it to collapse on itself." No one liked that answer.
My father asked her every time someone came over to complain about it why she wouldn't just tear it down. They had the money, and all it does is give the neighborhood a bad look. Mother always said it was for her personal reasons, and to not even bother asking. My father gave up after three months, and just let her do whatever she wanted with the house. Which was absolutely nothing.
As the years went by of me growing up, I often asked her about the house. Why was it so important to her? Why did it need to stay standing? Why couldn't she at least clean the exterior? Clean up the plants that grew around it?
She would tell me that her reasons for keeping the house was not my business. As for the other things, she always say, "Too noisy."
I never understood noise being a problem to her. She played the radio loudly when she cleaned or cooked, she never complained when there was noisy construction anywhere else in the neighborhood that wasn't near the house. If it got too close, she'd come out of the house screaming at them to keep it down, that they are hurting her ears and if they don't quiet down she will call the police. Now, no one will do any construction work anywhere near the abandoned house.
I've been told by the kids of my neighbors at school that their parents would say they wished my mother dead. They wanted her gone so they could finally be rid of that house. I couldn't believe the things people would tell me. The awful death wishes upon my own mother. The gruesome descriptions the kids would tell me how their parents wished my mother would perish. One kid even told me that their parents considered just burning down the house just to be rid of it themselves.
I told my mother of this, and she forwarded the threat to the local police, who talked to the neighbor, saying that if they tried, they would be arrested for destruction of private property. The neighbor storm over to my house, banging on the door, screaming at the top of their lungs for my mother to come out. My mother called the policed in fear, holding me close to her, and my father stood ready in case they busted the door down.
The police arrived and took the screaming neighbor away, and helped make sure we were all okay. After the checkup, they left us alone for the night.
A few months later, I had turned 15, and was starting my sophomore year of high school. I decided to help my dad clean up his and mom's room. They were getting a new bed delivered, and they wanted to make sure it wouldn't wreck anything, or get wrecked by anything.
While I was pulling things out from under the bed, I noticed one of the floorboards was loose. I set the contents I had pulled out aside, and ducked back under the bed, lifting the floorboard. I found what looked like a notebook, with my mother's name on it. I opened it and saw that it was my mother's diary. I pulled back out from under the bed and hid it in my shirt.
"I'm gonna take a break for a few minutes, okay dad?" I said, standing up and heading towards the door. "Alright, son." he said. "Take as much time as you want." I thanked him and sprinted up to my bedroom on the second floor, hopped on my bed, and opened the diary.
I flipped through the pages, hoping to find something relating to the house and why she kept it there. So far, there was nothing. Nothing but writings about school and all the cute guys she met. Even an entry when she met dad for the first time. Then I found something.
The entry talked about the house, and how she vowed she would never go back in there as long as she lived. She claimed that there was a little boy who slept in the house. She wrote about how she went in there with her friend and how she saw him sleeping there. He had a weird sounding snore, and his hair was all spiky like it was full of static. She wrote about how her friend went over to touch him, but when she poked him, the boy leaped up, screaming in rage about how dare they awake him. He lunged at the girls, grabbing my mother's friend. My mother tried to help, grabbing her friend and trying to pull her away, but she felt a painful sting in her arms which caused her muscles to contract and making her let go of her friend.
She backed away in horror as she watched the boy pull out active electrical cables and force them into her friend's chest. My mother screamed as she watched in horror, unable to turn her eyes away as she watched this monster cook her friend alive. When her friends skin went entirely black, the boy dropped her and, with no hesitation, dashed for my mother. My mother broke out of her fearful trance and dodged her attacker, running out of the room, down the stairs, and out of the house. She ran home crying, explaining to her parents what she saw. They called the police and there was an investigation on the look out for my mother's missing friend, for her body was never found inside the house, and neither was the boy she saw.
In her diary, she named the boy "Zipper", for how fast he moved when he lunged at her and her friend. She vowed that she would never set foot in that house again, and she'd make sure no one else would do the same. She would buy the house from the city, and make sure no one would ever go in and wake him up again. Because she knew Zipper was still in there.
After reading through the entry on "Zipper", I closed the diary and headed back to my parents' bedroom to help finish cleaning. I sneakily hid the diary back under the floorboard and went back to cleaning the room with my dad.
The next day at school, during lunch, I told my friends about what I read in my mom's diary. Zach was intrigued by the story, and wanted to check it out.
"I don't know guys." Thomas said, scratching the back of his neck. "What if this "Zipper" character really is real, and tries to get us like he almost got your mother?"
Zach laughed and slapped Thomas on the back. "Come on, you big scaredy cat." Zach teased, knowing Thomas was very superstitious. "There's no way a kid would be able to electrify someone like that without getting himself electrified in the process." Zach said in his no-it-all voice. "It's not physically possible."
"I guess... but what if it's not an actual kid?" Thomas said, trying to argue. "What if it's an apparition? Or a demon?"
"Those things don't exist, Tom." Zach said, snickering. "Quite being such a baby."
"Gerald, you can't be serious about going in there." Thomas said, looking to me. "I'm positive your mom wouldn't make that up. You could get killed if you went in there."
I sat there, staring down at my uneaten lunch. "I've been wondering about that house for my whole life." I said. "I just gotta see what's in it."
"Awesome." Zach said. "We're coming, too. I wanna see what creepy stuff is in that place."
"Why do I have to come?" Thomas said, crossing his arms.
"So you can see that ghost and gremlins aren't real." Zach said.
"I never said anything about gremlins." Thomas grumbled.
"Alright." I said. "Let's meet up at my house by sundown."
I told my mother I would be going out for a walk around the block before bed. She nodded and told me to be careful by the abandoned house. I said I would, and headed out the door, meeting up with my friends by the corner of the street.
I was starting to have second thoughts. Was this really the right thing to do? I mean, yeah, I wanted to know what was in that house, but I also didn't want to worry my mother. What if Zipper really was real? What if he does hurt us? What if we die in this house?
I shook my head. Thomas's worries are getting to me. Zach is right. No human could electrify someone like that without dying.
I approached my friends, high fiving them. Zach handed me a flashlight, and we walked up to the house. We carefully and slowly walked up the path, onto the porch and up to the door. I stared at the knob. My heart was pounding and I don't even know why. Nothing was even happening, yet I felt terrified.
"Open it already!" Zach said, pushing my shoulder.
I glared back at him, then turned back towards the door. I turned the knob as gently and as quietly as I could. I'm not sure why, but I didn't want to make any noise. But then I remembered I wasn't here by myself.
"Hello?" Zach called out, causing me to punch him in the arm.
"Shhh!!" I hissed. "If something is here, we shouldn't want to make it aware of us."
Zach rubbed his arm and stuck his tongue out at me like a little kid. I rolled my eyes and shined my flashlight around, looking for anything of use. Nothing but a bunch of furniture covered in tarps and cobwebs. The only thing that could live in this place was bugs.
"Okay, we saw it." Thomas whispered. "Can we leave now?"
"No way." Zach said. "We still haven't checked upstairs. That's where you said your mom saw Zipper, right?"
"Yeah." I confirmed, shining my flashlight to the stairs.
"Guys, can we please leave?" Thomas whispered.
"Nuh uh." Zach said. "We gotta see if this "Zipper" dude is real or not. Why? Are you scared, Tom?"
Thomas scowled at Zach's smug grin and walked up next to me. The three of us walked upstairs, the floorboards creaking beneath our feet. Thomas clung to my arm like a scared child walking through a haunted house. I let him. I knew he didn't want to be here, but he also didn't want to be called chicken by his friend.
Then, I heard it. The snores.
I grabbed Zach's sleeve and signed for him to be quiet and listen. All three of us listened, hearing the snores of what sounded like a hoarse throat. We followed the sound of the snoring, getting closer and closer, until we reached a door to a room. The snores were coming from inside. We looked at each other, and I slowly opened the door. Thank God it didn't creak.
We snuck into the room, and we couldn't believe our eyes. There he was. Zipper. Spiky hair and all. I couldn't see any active cables around him, though. He must have turned them on when my mother wasn't looking.
I felt a nudge and looked to see Zach grinning at me.
"Go touch him." He whispered.
"Are you crazy?" I whispered back, almost too loudly. "He will kill us!"
"Are you scared?" He asked, with a cocked brow.
I hate it when he does that. So I gulped, took a deep breath, and tip toed up to the sleeping boy. I looked back to see Thomas frantically shaking his head, but Zach nodding his head. I turned back towards the snoring, sleeping boy. I shakily reached out a finger, and ever so gently poked him.
I was not expecting was happened next.
Zipper leaped out of the bed, screaming what just sounded like, "Z-Z-Z-Zah!!! Z-Z-Zah!! Z-Zah!! Zah!"
All three of us screamed as he looked at us one at a time.
"HOW DARE YOU WAKE ME UP?!" He screeched.
We booked it out the room, slamming the door behind us, and dashing down the stairs. But when we got to the front door, it was shut, and locked. I tried my hardest to open it, but we heard the sound of a loud bang from upstairs, and we all grabbed each other and dashed behind the couch, covering our mouths to stifle our breaths.
"WHERE ARE YOU?!" Zipper screeched, dashing down the stairs.
We watched as he raced around, and noticed the live wires were in his hands, and they were sparking a lot. We were beyond scared at this point. We had no way out, and now a crazy maniac was trying to fry us.
But then we saw our chance. He opened the front door, looking out to see if he could find us. When he didn't see us, he walked away from the front door, but still looking around. He knew we were still in the house.
"PREPARE TO BE ELECTRIFIED!!" He screamed, clashing his cables together to make a big spark.
We tried to sneak around him to get to the now unlocked front door. We heard him knocking things over, looking everywhere for us. We were almost there, but then the unthinkable happened. There was that awful sound of something being dragged.
We all looked back to back to see Zach's foot had accidentally got caught on the couch leg, and it caused him to drag it a little. All was silent, then we saw the couch being pulled backwards, and Zippers face staring at us. We all screamed and scrambled off the ground, dashing towards the door.
I heard Zach scream and looked back to see Zipper had got a hold of him. I ran back, grabbing his hand trying to pull him to safety. Thomas grabbed my torso, trying to help. Then I felt it. The feeling my mother described. The stinging in my arms.The cause that made me contract my arms and let go of my friend.
I nearly hit the floor if Thomas hadn't caught me. I looked up to see Zipper clutching Zach and holding up one of his cables before shouting, "PREPARE TO BE Z-Z-Z-Z-ZAPPED!!" Then bringing the cable upon Zach's chest, electricity flowing into his body.
Zach screamed in pain and agony while Thomas and I screamed in fear. We were frozen in place like my mom had been with her friend, as we watched our friend be cooked alive.
We watched his skin turn black and his eyes pop out of his skull, unable to move or look away from the horrific scene.
When Zipper finally pulled the cable out, he dropped Zach's charred body and lunged at us with no second thought.
I pushed Thomas out the door and slammed it behind me, taking Tom's arm and pulling him down the street with me back to my house.
The last thing I heard coming from the house was Zipper shouting, "THE ELECTRICITY!!"
I dragged Thomas into my house, screaming for my mother, who ran downstairs to see us both in tears, shaken, and unable to speak. We were blubbering messes, unable to form words for how scared we were. My mother sat us both down, and hugged my and Thomas tight, like the good mother she was. We sobbed into her shoulders, but she didn't mind.
Finally, after a good five minutes of nonstop sobbing, we were able to calm down and catch our breath. She looked the both of us in the eyes, and ask us what happened.
We explained everything. I didn't care if I got into trouble, I just had to get it out of me. I told her about finding her diary and reading about Zipper, and then going into the house and waking him up. The hardest part was telling her about Zach. That because of me, he was now dead. Because I didn't just man up and call it quits like I should have.
My mother was obviously shocked that we went into the house. And when she heard about us waking Zipper, she looked as if her heart stopped breathing, and her face went as white as a ghost.
She stood up and told Thomas to go home to his parents, and tell them that he was okay, but to not tell them what they did. Thomas was fine with that, he didn't want any punishment his parents might give him. So he walked out the door and jogged on home, not looking back.
Mom then turned to me and told me to go to my room and make sure my windows were locked. She said she would be going out for a walk of her own, and that she would be back shortly.
I was scared that she would walk by the house and I told her I wanted to come with her. She told me "no", but I insisted. I didn't want to lose my friend and my mother on the same night. She sighed, but agreed to let me come if I didn't say a word. I nodded and followed her out the door.
I knew she wasn't going for a walk. She was going towards the house. I was scared. I didn't want to go back in and see that maniac of a child ever again. But my mother walked right up the pathway and up the porch to the door. She turned the knob, opening it up to a sight I will never forget.
There was Zipper. Knelt down on the floor, over Zach's body, shoving handfuls of flesh into his mouth.
The sight alone was enough to make me gag, but I covered my mouth to muffle the noise.
Zipper must've heard the door open, because his head shot in our direction as soon as it fully opened. He stared at us, unmoved. I expected him to lunge at us, screaming about how he would zap us with his cables. But he just stared at us, slowly chewing the flesh in his mouth.
My mother signed for me to stay put, and she entered the house. Zipper stared at her, watching her every move. She reached out, placing a hand on his shoulder, and knelt down beside him, lifting him up. He didn't move as she did this, just stared at her with wide eyes, occasionally glancing at me. I was worried he would recognize me as the one who woke him up, but even if he did, he didn't seem to care.
Mom slowly rubbed his back, and Zipper drifted to sleep on her shoulder, his snores starting up again. She began to move, with me slowly following. We walked up the stairs and back into the bedroom I found Zipper in. She placed him onto it, and tucked him in, placing a kiss on his forehead like she used to do to me when I was younger.
We then quietly walked out of the bedroom, leaving the sleeping, snoring child. We walked down and saw that Zach's corpse was gone. Zipper must've ate him faster than we thought. I shuddered and the memory of watching him eat my friend, and my mother put her hand on me. She guided my out of the house and back to our own, where we discarded our clothes into the washing machine, and bathed ourselves of anything that house might have put on us.
When we were clean and in new clothes, we sat down in the living room together. I was on my mother's lap for the first time since I was eight. It was my only source of immediate comfort I could find. She didn't mind, and gently stroked my hair and giving me kisses on the forehead.
She then broke the silence explaining why she had kept the house. I looked up at her as she spoke. She explained that if Zipper continued to sleep, he wouldn't be able to eat. She keeps him in that house, sleeping soundly, so he will not eat. If he doesn't eat, then he will starve. And when he starves, only then will the house come down. But he must remain in the house until then, where it's quiet. She said she wouldn't know how long it would take, since before tonight, it had been months since his last meal. And since Zach had a lot of muscle, it meant that they would have to start all over again. Keeping Zipper away until he starved.
It's been a year since that day. The house is crumbling, but still hasn't collapsed, so I know he's still sleeping in there. I never told Thomas what Zipper did with Zach, and the police never found his body. It wasn't easy moving on from that night. My father noticed I never asked about the house anymore, and even joined in my mom when yelling to people about being too loud near the house. Because if Zipper gets out, we're all toast.
Sleep well, Zipper. Sleep fucking well.
Written by Alpha-Maia